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DIY Home Improvement Thread..

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hey guys,

I have a large rectangular living room about 17ft long and wanted to put in some recessed lights since the room is usually too dark.

How hard would this kind of install be for a DIY-er. I don't mind the drywalling after the fact but would I need an electrician to run wire for me? Is it something I can tie into an existing light switch/outlet on the same wall?

If I did get an electrician to do it for me what should I approximate for costs? I am thinking 4 rows of 2 lights. The halogen small ones that they sell at home depot.

Thanks.

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Do you currently have an overhead light? Do you have easy attic access? How old is your home?

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If you don't mind me asking ... how much was the unit and how much was install? Did you need several? I heard of some people doing 1 for the kitchen/dish washer, and then one for washing machine / showers etc.

What brand would you recommend? My water heater is very old and if I can lower the utility bill while I am at it ... I am thinking of doing this.

I just installed one, it's a "Noritz" and is rated for a 3 bathroom house (plus laundry, dishwasher ect...). The unit was probably around $1400 installed (if I had gas service already which I did not) plus I paid $700 for the gas lines installed with a drop for the dryer. The thing is bad@$$, automatically adjusts flame to match demand water pressure. I'm saving about $30 a month, but I'm saving another $20 on the gas dryer which dries a huge load of clothes in 15 minutes every time.

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Do you currently have an overhead light? Do you have easy attic access? How old is your home?

No I don't currently have overhead lighting. It would be a 2nd floor or mid-level floor thus making it more difficult I assume.

Home was built in 1984.

My initial thoughts were just to dig trenches in the dry wall to run electrical wire and new cable for surround sound etc. but I am hoping there is a better solution if any for the DIYer.

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I'd stay way from "trenches" myself. Decided specifically where you want the lighting and then try to do the old "shortest distance between two points" thing. Find the rafters that go there and then cut the drywall on the center of each one. Preferably one bay both ceiling and wall. You can put a light or even two on an existing switch,just depends on how many other things are dedicated to the same circuit. I have the same problem myself in my condo,and have been searching for creative ways to add some lighting without having to cut a bunch of drywall. I despise doing drywall. :)

I've been debating what to do with the flooring in my condo. At its size,just about everywhere is high traffic. It's a second floor place so there's 1 1/2" of mud underneath the carpet,(which is cheaper kind that is clearly in need of replacing). Hardwood is a problem because I'm not big on floating it,though "liquid nail" could hold things down nicely. It does mean raising the floor a bit and in a place with barely 8 foot ceilings,that could be interesting. Care and feeding of any floor,hardwood or tile or both,could be a bit more than your average one because like I said,everywhere is high traffic. Of course that's what throw rugs a for but man,hiding all that work isn't always fun either. In going through images yesterday,I found a file that had pics of some of the homes I helped build and finish. That's when I found an idea,(or remembered it). This could be a nice compromise and it looks cool. A "matrix" floor. Hardwood and tile. Now of course,making this look good in this small place and with colors and such,could be a bit difficult.

home4.jpg

home5.jpg

home13.jpg

Edited by Park City Skins

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Thanks. It can be a bit difficult,(layout is the most important),but if done on a smaller scale,it could look good and be cost effective. I'm pondering using either one 16 or 18 inch tile in the middle of a run of lighter hardwood.

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Well. Kitchen remodel part 2 nearly done. This was the refinish cabinets phase. Used a combination of, Miniwax furniture refinisher,steel wool,disc sander,good old block of alder with some 60 to 120 grit paper,and plenty of "elbow grease". It's the usual cheap oak that apparently had lacquer re-applied time and again over the years. Took off probably close to a 32nd of the wood in the process on a lot of this and still was leaving the old finish behind. Worked in my favor though. Went with a rustic look so along with about half way between a level 1 and level 2 distress,the stain,(two colors,a couple of coats),went on a bit unevenly. Perfect. Now it's a liberal application of some clear finish and it's done. Next up,laundry room,(and yes. The 1983 flooring is going along with new fixture on sink). Oh and for comparison,the cabinets over the fridge,)more than likely being removed),are what they used to look like).

Kitchen2.jpg

Kitchen1.jpg

Edited by Park City Skins

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.... showoff!

Good job.

:ols: Thanks. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. :silly:

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Yeah it is. Came with place actually. I first saw it,it was :rubeyes:

As for the countertops.....

*

Figures somone would notice. :silly: Came with the place. Like the floor. :doh:

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we're starting a major project as soon as the weather clears. The roof of our single story rancher is 4 - sided (can't remember the term.) we are taking the roof off, putting a 9-12 pitch roof on and putting 2 bedrooms and a bathroom on top of our existing house. this isn't really diy, as my neighbor is contractor / handyman and is heading it up...but i'll be heavily involved. the plan was to have it under the new roof by thanksgiving...but permits are a ***** and now we're waiting until spring. sucks because i jumped the gun in anticipation and took all the gutter, fascia and soffit off of the house...

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Yeah it is. Came with place actually. I first saw it,it was :rubeyes:

As for the countertops.....

*

Figures somone would notice. :silly: Came with the place. Like the floor. :doh:

New cabinets look great, though :)

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we're starting a major project as soon as the weather clears. The roof of our single story rancher is 4 - sided (can't remember the term.) we are taking the roof off, putting a 9-12 pitch roof on and putting 2 bedrooms and a bathroom on top of our existing house. this isn't really diy, as my neighbor is contractor / handyman and is heading it up...but i'll be heavily involved. the plan was to have it under the new roof by thanksgiving...but permits are a ***** and now we're waiting until spring. sucks because i jumped the gun in anticipation and took all the gutter, fascia and soffit off of the house...

yeah you may want to put some of that back on with the winter coming. Dont want damage from the cold wet weather.

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yeah you may want to put some of that back on with the winter coming. Dont want damage from the cold wet weather.

i know...but it's too late. it's gone. :doh: my neighbor says it won't really be a big deal. not ideal for sure.

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New cabinets look great, though :)

Thanks. Several times I've shown my girlfriend the work and what else I have planned,and she says "Great. What about the countertop?" :ols:

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No I don't currently have overhead lighting. It would be a 2nd floor or mid-level floor thus making it more difficult I assume.

Home was built in 1984.

My initial thoughts were just to dig trenches in the dry wall to run electrical wire and new cable for surround sound etc. but I am hoping there is a better solution if any for the DIYer.

Hockey, please remember to be careful and that 110 can and has killed people. Don't know how much experience you have and sorry if it sounds like I'm lecturing you. If you know what your doing, more power to you! Also, I don't know about your laws, but where I live [Maryland} it's a felony to even work on it.

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we're starting a major project as soon as the weather clears. The roof of our single story rancher is 4 - sided (can't remember the term.)

Hip roof.

sucks because i jumped the gun in anticipation and took all the gutter, fascia and soffit off of the house...

The gutters are the biggest problem there. If your shingles have enough overhang, you might get away with the fascia and soffit being off. If you have a basement, you'll likely have problems with groundwater from the gutters being removed. If you don't have a basement, you still don't want that water running at your foundation. For just the winter, I can't see it being a HUGE problem, but it's not good.

Edited by Son of Gadsden

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Hip roof.

The gutters are the biggest problem there. If your shingles have enough overhang, you might get away with the fascia and soffit being off. If you have a basement, you'll likely have problems with groundwater from the gutters being removed. If you don't have a basement, you still don't want that water running at your foundation. For just the winter, I can't see it being a HUGE problem, but it's not good.

we don't have a basement. there'll be some water around the foundation, and it does concern me......if the weather breaks for a week or two in winter we'll try...but probably it will be late feb. / early march. contractor says it shouldn't be a huge deal. not something you want to have for a really long time, obviously.

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Alrighty then. New flooring and case and base in the bathroom. Cabinets mostly refinished with new hardware installed. I put some quarter round at the base of the tub as well. New shower head and a few other things have been installed as well. Just a bit of fine tuning and this sucker is done,(no money for a new door so that'll have to wait or be done by somebody else. :( ).

bathroom.jpg

Flooring in kitchen all but done. Just have to seal the grout. I added a 39 1/2 rod to the bottom of the top cabinet on the left and hung the coffee cups there. Insta room in the cabinets part one. Added the rod with hanger on the wall to the left and hung my pots and lids on it. Insta room in the cabinets part 2. "Laundry Room" in the back there has been largley re-done as well. Cabinets painted,shelves have adhesive liners,and doors have new hardware. The rod at the top goes from wall to wall,(leftover from the walk-in makeover), and comes in handy to hang clothes right up. Yes. I know. The fly swatters I just hung there temporarily to get out of the way. Though if this was New York,it would be called "brilliant". :silly: I hung a small rod under one cabinet in the laundry room and hung a small basket shelf from it. Perfect spot for the chargers for my camer and drill batteries. Hung a shelf from the bottom of the other cabinet,(using nice little chains),which added a bit more storage space back there too. It's coming along,but kitchen still has some work,(no. Not including the countertop).

kitchen.jpg

Edited by Park City Skins

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I have a question for you DIY guys. I'm one of the most unhandy, handymen around. My question is, I have a dual AC/Heat system for upstairs and downstairs. Two seperate thermostats. The lower T-stat is going through my backup batteries like crazy. What is my problem? Why is the system running off the batteries only (I'm assuming)? I know it's not a wiring problem as the system works when the batteries are in. Did my fuse go out? Or did the T-Stat itself go out? The upstairs one is the same T-stat and I haven't changed the batteries. We just moved in 3 months ago and I'm on my 3rd set of batteries on the lower unit. Maybe someone in here has had the same problem and could help.

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Ive been doing DIY jobs on my house since I bought it, I will get some before and after pics up if I can find them somewhere, will throw in some pics here in a few minds of what its looking like now.

not much DIY but i just reseeded my backyard, going to move the shed and rebuild a deck and new fence this summer. Going to get some people to replace my roof and windows.

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